St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

See our website at

Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On every Wednesday;  a study class meets at St. Simeon Skete.  

On this particular meeting time, we all showed up in our “Pray, Work & Study” shirts.  

Each week we discuss the assigned chapter from the specific study material.

Afterwards, we have lunch.  

 Everyone working together,

We always have such wonderful meals - awesome fellowship.... 

       and fun.

 As Seraphim wipes the table clean, Sarah and Cecil have a surprise for him.

This dear couple have purchased the material ( a heavy Irish Linen, no less) and Sarah has made four robes for Seraphim and presented them to him after Class and Lunch.

The Robes we have bought from a particular store with online service aren't particularly really cheap but they are what we've been able to afford, ...however,  the quality is lacking, especially for someone that wears robes everyday. all day.

But the robes that Sarah makes for Seraphim are exquisite - top quality.  Strong and Sturdy.

She even took the time to write inside the sleeve 

of the right hand (the one that Seraphim uses to give a blessing) "Jesus Mercy" in Greek.

Seraphim went to try one of the robes on.  As we all waited for him to model it for us, 

he hid behind the pillar.  

We are all so proud of Sarah and the beautiful job she has done, 

but none of us were quite as pleased 

and grateful as Seraphim.  

What a great surprise! 

Thank you, Sarah, you are very talented. Words alone can't tell you how much we appreciate what you and Cecil do - robes and everything else!  St. Simeon Skete is so blessed that you are part of it.  We love you both. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Refreshing break from Summer Heat

While we are experiencing no let up from the heat and humidity at St. Simeon Skete, James and Kadijah are dealing with heavy rains as well as sauna-type situations.  Despite Mother Nature's harshness, we continue the work.   

This week at the Skete, we have workers power washing and staining the wood siding on both the Chapel and Holy Trinity Kellia.  We have been so concerned by the deterioration of the wood and were afraid if we didn't have this completed soon, it would be too late and we'd lose the wood.  

In Kabala, James has been closing up the school for the Summer and tending to the overwhelming needs around him.  He's been distributing rice and being the physical hand of all of us who support NHA.

So in the midst of all the hard work and extreme weather, I received an email from James that was a delightful breath of fresh air.   After Sunday Services in Kabala this past Sunday, James, Kadijah, Lucy, Roo and Vicki posed for some family portraits.   

I am amazed at what a young lady (no longer a girl) Lucy (in pink, far left) has become - she is full of grace and beauty.  Snaggle-tooth Roo is looking quite healthy and free from the chronic fevers.

What a beautiful family.  Kabala is a much healthier and peaceful place to raise a family than Freetown.

Lucy is home for the Summer break from the Boarding School she attends in Freetown.  We need to begin to collect for her next Semesters tuition as soon as possible so that her school fees will not be in arrears when she returns.  We are so excited for Lucy as she continues her studies to become a doctor.  An honest hard working doctor is so very much a rarity in Salone these days, we are so thankful for her determination and dedication.   

What can I say about my namesake, Vicki!  Is she not simply gorgeous ?????  

James and Kadijah, hear me well!  Resist the smiles, resist the cuteness, resist the adorable looks and

DO NOT SPOIL this beautiful creature.   It will be hard, but do not spoil her!

The always lovely Kadijah looks very stylish in her purple African attire.  Thank you Kadijah for taking care of the kids and family.  Everyone looks Great!

Oh! Proud Papa, keep on smiling... you have good reason to do so.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

NHA REPORTS: A week of updates: Day 7

Day 7 Updates: This and That

James reports that the plumber working on the tower and tank to bring water from the working NHA Well to the NHA Compound was involved in an automobile accident and is in hospital.  When he recovers he will be able to finish the job and water will flow from the faucets within the Compound.

Little Vicki is growing like a weed and enjoys playing with the other neighborhood kids on the porch of the Compound.  

Roo continues to be delighted and proud of his baby sister.

Lucy is home at the Compound during School Summer Break and is helping with the chores around the home.

Roo and Vicki spend as much time together as possible.

When I was in Sierra Leone a few years back, I made Spaghetti for them.   It was a tremendous hit ...

Lucy taste testing the spaghetti. 
  and I see by these pictures that Kadijah has kept Spaghetti on the household menu!

This ends the the 7-day Blog Posting Series.  We are going to try to make it our practice to post on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from now on.   So look for our posts on those days.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NHA Reports: Update Day 6

Updates: Day 6:  THANKSGIVINGS

There are always an abundance of things to be thankful for at Nazareth House Apostolate, today we are especially grateful for 3 events.

1. We are very excited and pleased about the joyous occasion of Christina Masson & Matt Drake’s Wedding today!  Matt is one of our NHA Board Members and lives in San Francisco.   Best wishes to the happy couple, they are in our hearts and prayers today and always.

2. Another NHA Board Member, Claudio Lopez, suffered a severe bout of disorientation and memory loss yesterday and was hospitalized.  

Linda Knapp with Claudio Lopez at St Simeon Skete

All preliminary test results were negative and they ruled out a stroke.  We are thankful that there has been nothing life threatening or progressively debilitating diagnosed and that Claudio is on the mend.  Our prayers remain with him.  

Claudio Lopez with Vicki during pre-storm winds at St Simeon Skete
3. We are thankful for the supporters of Nazareth House Apostolate, whose ongoing support makes possible the work of St. Simeon Skete and the mission in Sierra Leone.  

Keep up the prayers, we are depending on them.  Thank you 



Update Day 5:  Another day, another village, another delivery

Each month after James receives the funding 

provided by your generous donations,

 he sets out to delivery food 

and supplies to those in need.  
Every delivery sustains a family a little longer and makes life a little easier.    

Thank you for your compassion and generosity.  

NHA 7 Days of Updates: Day 4

(Day 4's update was delayed due to power outages in the area - sorry)

Day 4: Transportation - NO GOOD

We really need to purchase our own vehicle in Sierra Leone.  Every time James informs me that he is going into Makeni or Freetown in order to purchase supplies, go to bank or make distributions for needy families in the area, I get a sick feeling in my gut.

You see, without our own NHA Vehicle, James is at the mercy of drivers that he really doesn't know and in most occasions - really doesn't trust (for good reason).   And even if they are good drivers - which is a rarity these days in Sierra Leone - their vehicles are not safe.  

Point in case:  This is his recent taxi to Makeni in torrential rains

cracked windshield and all 

Please consider helping us in our next project of providing a decent, safe and functioning vehicle to

get us and our supplies back and forth to those and need and to safely get James to the city for

picking up supplies to benefit those we serve in Sierra Leone.   Send your donations to NHA at

185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, KY 40071 or use the paypal link on our website  

James is hazarding himself daily to do the work of NHA in his country.   It would be a good thing for us to help him do this work in a safe manner.  We'll always have to contend with "the other driver" in the other car, but at least the car we are in - we can trust - is well taken care of and the driver alert and safe.

Unsafe driving in Sierra Leone in unsafe vehicles isn't getting better, its getting worse.  Let's try to prevent such a tragedy for NHA in Salone.

Thank you so much for your prayers, compassion and generosity.